This section presents data and statistics on household crowding in New Zealand. Household crowding increases the risk of infectious diseases spreading, particularly among children.
Household crowding is defined as needing one or more bedrooms; severe household crowding is defined as needing two or more bedrooms. Household crowding is measured with Census data, using the Canadian National Occupancy Standard. See information about the data below.
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In 2013, 10.1 percent of New Zealanders (398,300 people) lived in a crowded house (Figure 1). This is a decrease from 1991, when household crowding affected 11.9 percent of the population.
In 2013, 3.3 percent of people lived in severely crowded houses (needing 2 or more bedrooms) (129,100 people).
Many Māori and Pacific people live in crowded houses. In 2013, household crowding affected:
- 40 percent of Pacific people
- 20 percent of Māori
- 5 percent of people of European/Other ethnicity.
The proportion of people living in crowded houses decreased in all ethnic groups from 1991 to 2013. However, large ethnic differences still remain.
Children (0–14 years) are disproportionately affected by household crowding in New Zealand (Figure 2).
About one in seven children (15.9 percent) lived in crowded houses and a third of these children (5.2 percent) lived in severely crowded households (needing two or more bedrooms).
Māori and Pacific children were more affected by household crowding than children of other ethnic groups. Over 40 percent of Pacific children (43 percent) and 25 percent of Māori children lived in crowded houses in 2013.
Geographically, household crowding is worse in the North Island, where 11.7 percent of the population lived in crowded households in 2013. In the South Island, 5.1 percent of the population lived in crowded households in 2013 (Figure 3).
In 2013, Kawerau District had the highest proportion of people living in crowded households (17.3 percent), followed by Opotiki District (16.7 percent) and Porirua City (15.6 percent) (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Percentage of population living in crowded households, by territorial authority (TA), 2013